Tribal council ‘bars’ couple for marrying off their daughter to an outsider against mores.

Alakarsami and Kanniamma did not foresee such a situation when they sent their daughter to study Ayurveda in Bihar.

For, they are at the receiving end of a social boycott (ooruvilakku) imposed by the tribal council (oorukoottam) for marrying off their daughter to an ‘outsider’.

The couple had to move out of the Theerthamala settlement of Muthuvans in Marayoor recently leaving behind their land holdings of over 10 acres and are living 12 km away in a rented house at Choorakkulam.

The marriage of their eldest daughter with a teacher from Bihar was registered at the registrar office at Maraoor on December 24.

As per customs of the tribal people, those on ooruvilakku should not be contacted by other members of the tribe and would not be allowed to participate in any social activity at the colony.

Ooruvilakku was announced against two relatives who had contacted the family.

They gave an explanation after an appeal to the tribal council and an amount was given as penalty.

They were warned against any contact with the family in future.

The couple said they decided to leave the colony as their relatives too would face ooruvilakku if they stayed there. “Even children are barred from contacting people if the council declares ooruvilakku against a family,” the couple said.

Four children

The couple have three daughters and a son. Of the 72 families in the settlement, the family was the only one that had sent a member for higher studies outside the State.

Their daughter had recently visited the couple at the settlement, which led to the social boycott.

Their other daughters are studying at places outside the settlement.

The couple said they had approached authorities against the decision of the tribal council and would move the human rights commission.

At many tribal settlements in Marayoor and nearby areas, ooruvilakku is declared against those going against the dictates of the tribal council.

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